This document was kindly provided by Bill Smy of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group (http://www.cefresearch.com). Initially posted to the CEF Matrix project, it has been moved to the Internet Archive so that it is more widely available to international researchers.
This document contains not American but British and Canadian Trench Orders from the Great War 1914-1919 (World War 1). The document was declassified on December 10, 1949.
This document will be of interest to British and Canadian researchers who are studying life in the trenches during the Great War. It is presumed that this document was held by the United States of America War Office as part of their preparation for entrance into the war.
This document was prepared by the United States of America War Office in 1917 to demonstrate trench orders that were in effect at that time. In particular this document contains examples of "CANADIAN CORPS TRENCH ORDERS" and "BRITISH "55th (West Lancashire) DIVISION TRENCH ORDERS". Also included are "Battalion Trench Standing Orders" and "Brigade Standing Orders". The front page of the British specimen states as follows: "Every officer and every noncommissioned officer in command of any body of troops is to be in possession of the book and to be thoroughly conversant with its contents". It is also noted in bold type that "THIS BOOK IS NOT TO BE TAKEN BEYOND THE FRONT OF TRENCHES". These comments suggest the importance of these trench orders. The orders cover a wide array of topics from general duties and weapons, through to shooting at aeroplanes, allocation of rum rations, and the treatment of frostbite.